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Old 10-25-2009   #1
one lung lewis
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Los Angeles Area
Posts: 11

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Default The Painting Experiment: The Artistic Journey of Jackson Robinson

The Painting Experiment
The artistic journey of Jackson Robinson

Hi everybody, first of all thanks for taking the time to read this. My name is Jackson Robinson (onelunglewis) I'm an High School Art teacher in the Dallas Texas area. I recently worked as a professional illustrator (all digital) for a studio in Lewisville, Texas called Ranch 5.. It was an absolute dream job and they took care of me and my family incredibly. Unfortunately due to the economic times they went under.

So here you find me, on a completely new chapter of my life and have no idea where I'm going from here. I have done some huge soul searching and have decided to pursue a traditional fine arts career.

I graduated from the University of North Texas with a Drawing & Painting degree, but now realized that my 6 years in college were an absolute waist. If you want to learn how to draw or learn the technical skills of art, DON'T you will not find it in a modern university setting. (At least the one I attended) Find a master artist to study under or a respected Atelier to study at. (more on Ateliers later)

I have been inspired by numerous threads on and feel compelled to start my own threading journey.

I don't have the money to join an atelier but want to more than breathing. So I have decided to put myself through my own atelier. I have done tons of research on the traditional atelier curriculum and have created a road map for myself. My job now is to just follow that road map.

This thread will serve as my journal for that journey. Please feel free to leave comments, ideas, or questions. If I can answer them I will try, If I can't I'm sure there is someone here who can. I do not claim to be an expert at anything but looking like an idiot. So thanks again for reading and I hope that you can find something here that inspires you or helps YOU along your way.

Jackson Robinson (onelunglewis)

Here is a link to my personal blog page.


Here is a link to my professional illustration work. (done while at Ranch 5)

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Bargue Drawing

So if your asking yourself "what the heck is a bargue drawing?" I will give you a brief history that I found on another website.

Bargue Drawings

Charles Bargue was an academic painter from 19th Century France. Under the auspices of art dealers Goupil and Cie (Vincent and Theo Van Gogh's employers,) and along with Jean-Leon Gerome, he produced a series of two hundred or so lithographs, reproductions of which were circulated around the ateliers of the time for students to copy. Copying these drawings is supposed to teach the student about line and tone, how to create an illusion of three dimensional form, and also to instil a sensitivity to classical beauty in painting and sculpture. These plates were almost lost, but, thanks to the efforts of Gerald Ackerman and Graydon Parrish, they have now been republished and a book version of the plates is available. It's proved popular enough to be on it's second priniting at time of writing. That has to be a good thing. Apparently the Victoria and Albert Museum in London has a full original set.

The Bargue drawing course has regained popularity in recent years, and is now a standard part of the curriculum of modern academic ateliers in Europe and the US. I've got hold the book with the intention of copying a few of the plates, for much the same reason as I'm doing the old master copies. Although I doubt it's quite the same as going to an atelier, it's got to be pretty good practice all the same.

(The above information regarding Bargue Drawing was taken from this website

So for my first Bargue drawing I'm actually not going to use an original Bargue Plate to copy from. Unfortunately the book that you find the plates to copy from is around $100, and right now funds are tight. So what I'm am going to do for right now is work from photographs I have taken of a Cast that I have at home.

Here is a link to Amazon if you want to take a look at the book I speak of.

Charles Bargue and Jean-Leon Gerome: Drawing Course

I will attach links to the i res images if you would like to download them for your own practice. Until I can get my hands on a Bargue plate this will have to do.

Here is a wide photo of the cast I will be taking photos of to draw from.

General Agrippa

Here is the first photo that I will be copying.

Agrippa Bargue I

Download High Res Image

So I have finished my first "Jackson" Bargue Drawing. I used an Ebony pencil on Illustration Board. It took around two days to complete. There are a ton of mistakes in proportion and value.

Another Image of my copy next to the photo I worked from.

Thank you in advance for your comments and critiques.
[B]Jackson Robinson[/B]
One Lung Lewis
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Old 10-25-2009   #2
one lung lewis
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Los Angeles Area
Posts: 11

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Default How To Paint Color Charts

How to Paint Color Charts

I will attempt to document the entire process and technical aspects of creating a complete pallet color chart using oil paints. My process and the majority of my information about the doing and creation of color charts comes from two resources.


First and foremost Richard Schmid’s book Alla Prima. I started Mr. Schmid’s book about a week ago and I am trying to dissect every aspect of it that I can. Within his book are detailed instructions to creating color charts. The specific oil colors that I am using are the same colors Mr. Schmid used in his book.

Here is a link to Mr. Schmid’s website where you can view many of his incredible paintings and also buy any of his books and videos.

The second resource I am using is a website a fellow artist of mine (Jonathan Hardesty) directed me to when I asked him “where is a good place to find out how to make color charts.” He quickly responded Clayton J. Beck III. I went to his site and found it very helpful in supplying technical info of how to get it done and done neatly.

__________________________________________________ _________

First things first.

If you are going to do color charts you are going to need colors so here are the colors I am using.

Windsor & Newton Artist Oil Colours
Cadmium Lemon
Cadmium Yellow Pale
Cadmium Red
Yellow Ochre Light
Terra Rosa
Ivory Black

Rembrandt (Talens)
Cadmium Yellow Deep
Transparent Oxide Red
Cobalt Blue Light
Ultramarine Deep

Alizarin Permanent

Titanium White

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Materials Needed:

1/4” Masonite Board (Bought at any hardware mega mart)

I had the kind gentlemen at Lowes cut my masonite rectangles that measured 17.5” X 8.5” wide. Odd dimensions I know but I have 13 colors, so that equals 13 columns, and each column will have 5 rows. Each paint square is 1” square and each row has a 1/4” gap and a little over an inch (1 3/8” to be exact) of spacing along the edges. You want to give yourself enough room to handle the charts without touching the paint squares.

For those of you who may have more or less than 13 colors on your palette don’t worry. Here is a simple formula to figure out what dimensions to cut your masonite board.

(The following example is for someone who has 15 colors on their pallet)

Step 1: Take the number of colors you use on your pallet and write that number down.
Step 1 = 15”

Step 2: Take that number and subtract by two, and then multiply by .25.(This gives you how many spaces between each square going width wise using 1/4” as a spacing.)
Step 2 = 3 1/4” (3.25”)

Step 3: Decide how much space you want for a border. (I suggest at least 1” that way the charts will be easy to handle without touching the color squares.)

__________________________________________________ ___________

For this example I will choose to have a 1” border width wise. Take 1” and multiply it by 2 for both left and rights sides of the chart.
Step 3 = 2”

Step 4: Now add all of your steps together and you will have your width.
Step 1 = 15”
Step 2 = 3 1/4”
Step 3 = 2”

Step 4 = 20 1/4” (20.25”)

Width 20 1/4”

Repeat the process for the hight.

Step 1: You will have a total of 5 rows at 1” a piece.
Step 1 = 5”

Step 2: Take 5 and subtract by 2 then multiply by .25.
Step 2 = 2/3” (.75”)

Step 3: Multiply your desired border by 2.
Step 3 = 2”

Step 1: Add your steps.
Step 1 = 5”
Step 2 = 2/3” (.75”)
Step 3 = 2”

Step 4 = 7 2/3” (7.75”)

Hight 7 2/3” (7.75”)

__________________________________________________ ________

Here is a picture of my chart and its measurements for all of you visual learners out there. You may also download it as a pdf if you like, look for the download link under the picture

Ok! So here are some pics of the real thing so far. You will notice that I used 1” blue painters tape to mask the sides. Then I used 1/4” Crape Art Tape I bought at Office Max to mask off the gutters in between the squares. I found it easiest to mark off with a ruler on the edges your dimensions by putting a small tick mark on the edge. Once I had the measurements I then used the tick marks to know where to put my tape.

I have twelve boards. You may say… “Hey wait he has 13 colors?!” Your right, but I don’t think I’m going to do a chart specifically for the Ivory Black. Anyways If I change my mind it won’t be that hard to make one more.

If you are wondering what the white paint is for here is the “skinny”. The white paint is actually Acrylic Gesso. In collage in design school I learn this invaluable masking trick that is so easy but it make a HUGE difference.


After you are finished masking what ever color is underneath the masking tape, paint that over the top of the tape and let in completely dry. Once that is dry THEN you paint your new color on top that you want to have straight lines. That way the places that the paint seeps under the tape and screws up your straight edge will be invisible because you painted the under-base color first, and that is the color that seeps under. The first coat fills all of the open spots. Then when your second new color dries on top, and you pull the tape off BAM! you have a super sweet straight line.


When you are masking, make sure you put down the tape in one direction all at the same time. This makes pulling off the tape much much much more easy.

Tape your edge pieces LAST. I taped them first on the first board I did and realized that I had just covered up all the nice little tick marks that I put on the board.

__________________________________________________ ___________

I’m super pumped!! I just finished first chart. This chart is my full, straight out of the tube palette. Each color on my palette is represented in its pure form and with Titanium white added and stages.

Besides actually doing the charts yourself, one of the most important things to try and do is make sure that the last row of squares are all the same value. To make sure of this “Squint” at the last row as you go and the color should disappear and they should appear all as one value.

When you are painting the charts paint the top row first, then the last row. Third, paint the middle value, the middle one shouldn’t lean dark or light but be right in the middle. Lastly paint the to intermediate squares and your done. Take your time, enjoy the process.

Ok! So here is number two done. This is the Cadmium Lemon Chart. I got home from work and started around 6:30pm and now its 11:40pm. I’m beat, but it was a blast. It was amazing to see how the Cadmium Lemon reacted with all the other colors. I was very surprised with the Ivory Black Column. I was expecting it to come out a more muddy yellow green. It actually produced aver nice yellow green hue.

So I finished two more of my charts but a sad to say that I’m going to have to do them over again. I was chatting with my friend and fellow artist Johnathan Hardesty, I was asking him a few questions about the charts. I asked him about how long should it take for me to do these? He replied, “Well for a person that is doing color charts for the first time it should take about 8 hours.” I then said, “Oh? They are only taking me about 4 or 5 hours. He then replied, “Well it’s probably because your values are off. Most new artist stay real dark up until the last row then make a huge jump. You want your squares to be a gradual gradation of value.” I then look at the two that I had just finished and realized that he was absolutly right. He said when your done with your charts look at them in black and white and see if the value changes are gradual. Here are some pics of the cobalt blue light chart that I must redo. Notice how the value stay pretty dark until the very last row then it jumps almost to white.

[B]Jackson Robinson[/B]
One Lung Lewis
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